the long range-err

Posted: September 3, 2008 in marathon, myphilosophy, run, running
Tags: , , , ,

I’ll have two of the hills, three cemeteries and one 7/11… I don’t want the airport.

No, we are not tycoons working out big deals on real estate. And no, this is not some strange version of the game Monopoly. But the topic of our conversation is indeed real estate. The ones we intend to run in. It’s Wednesday, after all, and time for us to start negotiating our long run route and mileage.

All of us are training for something, some for a full marathon, others for a half and others simply for breakfast.  Hence, our long runs are defined by different distances. The rules (if these can be considered rules) are quite simple. We all start out at the same time, chat during the warm-up phase, hit our paces, do the required mileage and then meet up for breakfast. The first ones to finish reserve the table. They also get to look the prettiest/hunkiest since they are the ones who will have the most time to freshen up.

We’ve cut up the global city route into 3-5 km segments. Mileages and sequences are flexible. We all have different requirements. Some want a more challenging route. Some want more shade and less sun. Others want more frequent taho (sweet soy) breaks.  Others, me included, really just want the quickest way to breakfast. So we take our pick of the route. And do solemnly swear to run it well.

We don’t run at the same paces. But we do try to stick to each other as best we can. Until quite recently there were designated pit stops where the first ones in would sit around, tell stories, pick on each other’s shadows and wait for the rest to come in. Pit stops were carefully chosen for the variety of food and drinks they offered. Well, horror of horrors!  Apparently, there is this thing called runabouts! And technically what we were doing was closer to it than a long run. I just recently found this out from Baldrunner’s site. I guess sometimes the truth does hurt. I’ll have to say I was really much happier when I didn’t know this.

So we’ve had to tweak our plan. We now have a starting point, an end point and short walking breaks. Officially there are no more pit stops. Lots of things happen unofficially in this part of the world. That’s why I choose to live here.

I don’t relish running alone much. So I always try to find someone to run with. It’s getting much more difficult these days since Batgirl and I often need to run the longest distances. But either my paces are too undisciplined for Batgirl’s  tastes or she prefers to run other segments in the route. I know she likes heading out to the airport. I hate that part of the route. There are way too many potholes and the sidewalks are cracked in the strangest places.  I’m the daughter my father would fondly introduce to his friends as the girl headed for a brilliant career in the Department of Public Works and Highways. That’s because I have this attraction to potholes. It’s a talent. Put one pothole in some obscure part of the road. I will find it and fall into it.

So, I once asked Mighty M, super girl without the geeky costume, to join me in one of our long runs. I begged her to run at my pace. I can’t very well run at her pace unless I’m really set at finding a shortcut to the cemetery. And I’d have to say it worked out really well.  We ran straight without any pit stops. I got home and my knees and ankles and hips felt fine. But I realized my jaw was hurting. Apparently so was Mighty M’s! We finally figured out that it was because we were chatting for 2 1/2 hours non-stop!  Well, marge simpson hrmrrm, who was it again that told me that I’m supposed to do long runs at conversational pace??!

  1. kingofpots says:

    mesh, this is a nice post, not because you mentioned me, but you don’t realize that talking with somebody during long runs is one of the “secret” techniques in running an ultramarathon. while talking, your mind is not concentrated with the time elapsed, the distance covered, and the body pain that is bothering you! never mind the tired jaw muscles as long as they are not locked, what is important is that your legs are still fresh. hey, don’t forget your weekly massage. good luck on your training

    I wish I knew this back when the nuns kept telling me to shut up… I could have told them I was deep in training for the ultra! 🙂 What you say is true though. We breezed through that long run. Double yes on the massages!

  2. bards says:

    i will miss the pitstops also. so how about we make a promise…after we complete this full marathon … lets go on a very very long and easy run with lots of food and picture taking pitstops. im thinking around 50kms … imagine how may pitstops we can have 😛

    Sneaky, is that you? 😉

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